This photograph above says it all. It’s the ongoing national debate on the Code of Conduct. In this constitutional fight, there are no demilitarized zones. So, not even a neutral ground like the compound of the United States Embassy could stop them from debating the issue.
Seen above is the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC Chairman Nathaniel McGill and the Unity Party or UP two new officials, Mr. Len Eugene Nagbe and Mr. Neto Zarzar Lighe, both Ministers of Information and Labor respectively.
Both Nagbe and Lighe were recently elected at the UP’s convention in the Central Liberian town of Gbarnga, Bong County as Secretary General and Vice Chairman respectively. Their elections as party officials, why still serving as active ministers has sparked a debate as to whether or not they are in violation of the Code of Conduct in particular, Part Five on Political Participation.
Both men have denied any wrong doing and have challenged anyone who feels that they have done so, to go to the court of law. McGill thinks they have and that they should either resign their respective posts as ministers or their newly elected positions.
The venue was the United States Embassy compound, where a reception was being held to commemorate the U.S’s 240th Independence Day Celebration. For a moment they forgot the reason for their presence at this auspicious occasion, when they got engage into a debate that is expected to overshadow the ongoing Global Witness report. Below is an excerpt of the Code of Conduct with emphasis on Part V.
PART V: POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
5.1 All Officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not:
a) engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices;
b) use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities; c) serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate. 9 5.2 Wherein, any person in the category stated in section 5.1 herein above, desires to canvass or contest for an elective public position, the following shall apply;
a) Any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections;
b) Any other official appointed by the President who holds a tenured position and desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post three (3) years prior to the date of such public elections.